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Pretty Big Walk Traverses Ganesh Himal

This was the view from the pass that signalled we had almost completed our traverse of the Ganesh Himal on the Great Himalayan Trail on our Pretty Big Walk. Marian is making a shape with the Langtang Himal making a fine fine background.

During the first ten days of walking, we have covered 100 km, made approximately 190,000 steps, and gained about 8700 metres (almost the height of Everest). We’ve been crossing ridges and valleys and enjoying pretty views almost every step of the way.

Except when it was raining, snowing, hailing, or misting (which it’s done most days). Marian and I didn’t sleep much on Pangsang Pass (pictured above) because of a ferocious electrical storm that dumped nearly a foot of snow.

We’ve had sun the past two days with only small pecks of rain. We are hoping the weather pattern has broken and will be more steady for our traverse of the Langtang Himal. Battery power for electronics has been scant so I will close for now.

Thanks for following along and we can’t wait to tell you more in a few weeks.

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inReach message from TA Loeffler

C10. As usual, rain started the moment we hit camp. Water temple nearby for both Hindus & Buddhists. Temple bell rings. Prayer flags release prayers to wind.

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inReach message from TA Loeffler

We have our Mackenzie tent. Wished for our winter Thor but thought it was too heavy Weather has broken we hope. much lightning in last week. yes much up & down

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inReach message from TA Loeffler

L10 After tough climb to pass, rewarded with momentous view of Langtang Himal where we are headed next. Morning sun, nice to dry out after frosty morn.

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inReach message from TA Loeffler

C9 OMG what a night! Huge electrical snow storm much of the night. Long night pushing snow off tent. Easy down. Sun out. Drying

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inReach message from TA Loeffler

C8 on Pangsang Pass. 3850 m. Raining, hailing, & booming. Glad we climbed well to be tucked in tent rather than still making way. View will be beauty in am

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inReach message from TA Loeffler

L8 Roadside dining. Pretty Big Climb today. Up the equivalent of Lukla to Tengboche. So sorry to hear of Lukla tragedy. Thinking of those who lost loved ones

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inReach message from TA Loeffler

C7 Misty wisps of cloud surround fern decorated rhododendrons. Roads r bringing rapid change here. Sounds of cows & chainsaws, kharkas & kitchens Did U walk?

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inReach message from TA Loeffler

L7 High perch over Tipling village. Children headed back to school. Clouds building over a warm morning. We pass through as folks wish us “Namaste” We do too

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inReach message from TA Loeffler

C6 Happy Nepali New Year from Sertung. Kid goats jumping from rock to rock, not onto our tent thankfully. Homes made dry stone

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inReach message from TA Loeffler

L6 view out over three valleys coming together. Evidence of earth folds being pushed up into mtns. Ganesh Mtn reveals its glory. More down now up, up, up!!!

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inReach message from TA Loeffler

Camp 5 in Lapagoan. Boys playing volleyball, aqueducts delivering water to wheat & potatoes newly growing small up, huge down

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inReach message from TA Loeffler

L5 snow topped mtns pull our gaze up from hundreds of mica dressed stone steps that lead us down, down, down. Blooms beckon

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inReach message from TA Loeffler

Camp 5 In Kharka w/barking dog clouds creep in on tiny bovine feet Magnolia blossoms cling like doves 2 moss covered branches

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inReach message from TA Loeffler

View L4 long down winding stone stair w/ water buffalo. Micro hydro under const. Cicadas sing. Do their ft get sore like ours?

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inReach message from TA Loeffler

Camp 3 just sky of goal. Jack hammer mixes with shepherds watching goats. Huge day of up, down & distance. Feet yell. Legs cramp. Spirit soars. GHT again.

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inReach message from TA Loeffler

View from lunch, terraced fields of wheat & corn. Kids curious while adults kind in helping us find our way. Goats passing by. Big up this morn. 1200 m.

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inReach message from TA Loeffler

Hi from Machakhola. Great hot walk on new road. Life is changing here fast w/ many new roads. Looking across 2 tomorrow’s big up. Today broke us in slowly.

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inReach message from TA Loeffler

Hello from Soti Khola. Setting up camp. The drive had some super muddy parts. The driver was excellent. Ready for a Pretty Big Walk. Day One is in the books.

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Heading Off to a Pretty Big Wall

After a quick day of catching up with friends and errands, the expedition bags are packed and we head off in the morning. We tested our expedition comms this morning and all seem to be working well. As long as battery power holds out, we will send an audio message and location link daily. We likely won’t be able to send out many photos so you’ll have to depend on my verbal descriptions and use your imagination.

We visited a stupa and enjoyed both people and pigeon watching.

We are traversing the Ganesh Himal and Langtang regions and will be out on the trail for 30 days or so. Depending on weather and snow conditions, (so far there has been lots of both this spring here in the mountains) we may need to alter our route so stay tuned.

We spend much of tomorrow driving to the start of our trip at Soti Khola and then start walking (uphill) on Wednesday. So pleased to have you along!

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inReach message from TA Loeffler

Hello from Kathmandu. After a great night’s sleep, we are off to exchange money, find sims, buy laundry soap, & visit friends.

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Pretty Big Walk-You’re Invited!

Marian and I are taking a walk. A Pretty Big Walk. We want you to come along in any way you can…walking, rolling, slowly, quickly, running, jumping, singing…any which way that, gets you, or keeps you moving. We’ll be walking, hiking, trekking, and climbing our way across approximately 300 kilometres of the High Himalaya in Nepal.

We’ll start our Pretty Big Walk in Chautara on April 10 and head for Tilman Pass Camp and the Langtang Valley using the Great Himalaya Trail (GHT). The Great Himalaya Trail is a series of trails, routes, and primitive paths that allow adventurous folks to walk/climb/trek the entire length of the Himalayas in Nepal.

We’ll finish our walk at the beginning of the Manaslu Trek-thus connecting the two walks we’ve done on the GHT (Great Big Walk in 2014 and Manaslu in 2017). When we finish in mid May, this will mean we have completed five of seven sections of the GHT crossing Nepal You’re invited to follow along.

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Happy Adventurous and Active New Year

Marian and I celebrated the New Year by hiking down to one of our favourite East Coast Trail destinations: Freshwater Bay. The photo above was taken from the new bridge that crosses Leamy’s Brook and enables hikers to avoid the barachois or make a lovely lollipop shaped hike if they don’t want to continue onto Black Head. The afternoon light was gorgeous and the sky to the Northeast gave some hints that a storm was on the way. It’s been a wonderful holiday season filled with lots of outdoor time on walks, snowshoes, and skis. As I’m set to teach my winter outdoor activities course on Monday, I’m cheering (silently) for this influx of the white stuff though I know many are cursing it. The mission of my winter course is to equip students with skills and knowledge to help them spread “winter love” or at least less winter hate. With some skills and a good clothing system, winter becomes a time of fun and exciting outdoor adventure. If you need any winter inspiration, please see this intro to our newish book: Get-Outside Guide to Winter Activities.

Marian and I spent an evening watching all of the video I shot while on our Paddling North adventure last summer, canoeing 3080 km between Jasper, Alberta and Tuktoyaktuk, Northwest Territories. It was fun to relive part of the adventure and some of the clips had us bent over in laughter. We recently put up a few canvas prints on the wall opposite where we do dishes so we could be flooded with memories and be inspired towards new expeditionary goals. As usual, spending 90 days on that expedition has transformed my relationship to that part of the world and to every Canadian map I look at. It does seem a bit like a dream that this time last year we were still working on the plan to make that trip possible.

Several expedition thoughts and potentialities are in the mix right now and we’ll let folks know our adventure plans as soon as we nail them down enough to buy tickets. Looking at some time back in the Himalayas and Labrador as serious possibilities. I hope you have some adventures planned for 2019, whether they be near or far! Wishing you all the best for an adventurous and active New Year.

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